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Blended

Movie Information

The Story: Two single parents and their kids end up on the same African safari. The Lowdown: An unsurprisingly puerile and needlessly sentimental comedy from Adam Sandler.
Score:

Genre: Comedy
Director: Frank Coraci (Here Comes the Boom)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Wendi Mclendon-Covey, Bella Thorne, Kevin Nealon
Rated: PG-13

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It’s been nearly two decades since the first true Adam Sandler vehicle, 1995’s Billy Madison, came out. For Sandler, who’s now 47-years-old, not a whole lot has changed. Besides occasional stabs at more serious roles and the banishing of Rob Schneider from measly cameos, there’s never been a ton of deviation in Sandler’s movies. His latest, Blended, is no different. The humor is all predicated on random throwaway gags, bizarre, childish views of sex and the usual last-ditch effort at waxing sentimental as a means of making all this junk seem OK. Blended is especially lathered in the latter, since this is supposedly a “family” film — one that just happens to ooze stunted, ugly sex jokes.

 

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If his sense of humor is any indicator, Sandler is a man who views the human body as either a source of derision, the end of a punchline or simply a germ for simple-minded, tongue-wagging lust. I’m fairly confident that the first time I encountered the word “sophomoric” was in regards to a review of an early Sandler film, and guess what? Nearly 20 years later, zero has changed. Of course, in the scheme of things, this sameness isn’t such a big deal. After all, Sandler has made a fortune on his modus operandi, but the facade is starting to show cracks; throwing Blended into the thresher up against X-Men: Days of Future Past and Godzilla shows a certain lack of faith.

 

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Nevertheless, the thing still exists and features Sandler as Jim, a single dad who goes on a disastrous blind date with Lauren (Drew Barrymore), a single mom. After establishing that they intensely dislike each other — which takes about half an hour to set up — the two and their families end up stuck on a free trip to an African resort with one another. The Sandler/Barrymore team-up is the film’s lone point of interest, since they last came together to make the not completely, but pretty close to awful 50 First Dates (2004). But that was a decade ago, and I doubt a ton of people were clamoring for these two to link up once more (besides Barrymore, of course, whose career is currently hovering right around her Poison Ivy (1992) days).

 

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Lots of far-fetched hijinks happen, while the two — spoiler alert — start to fall for each other. The film can’t help itself and follows the usual rom-com formula of the break-up and eventual make-up, and everyone lives a fantastic life. The end. But no one’s here for plotting or storytelling. They’re here for — well, I’m not sure why they’re here. Maybe there’s an appeal in the various cameos of Adam Sandler’s buddies and welfare cases, or the familiarity born of Sandler’s lazy style of comedy. A better idea might be simple nihilism, but even that feels optimistic when faced with the prospects of a new Adam Sandler movie. You might have noticed I haven’t really said much about the actual movie. That’s because, at this point, what is there to say? It’s just more of the same — an endless parade of garbage. Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and language.

Playing at Carolina Cinemas, Epic of Hendersonville, Regal Biltmore Grande, United Artists Beaucatcher.

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6 thoughts on “Blended

  1. Ken Hanke

    Were you even considering this until you read Justin’s review?

  2. DrSerizawa

    I just want to see how long this can go on. Sandler is what, 48 now, and still acting like a underdeveloped 10 year old? I wonder how surreal it will be when he’s 60.

  3. T.rex

    Some comedians grow and try new things. This is why Steve Martin put up the white suit.

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